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EBRD helps Moldova’s second largest city buy more new trolleybuses

By Olga Rosca

  • Moldova’s second largest city to buy 10 new trolleybuses and improve network infrastructure
  • EBRD’s €2.5 million loan is expected to be complemented with a €1.2 million grant from the E5P multi donor fund
  • Expanded trolleybus network to improve mobility for a population of 150,000 people

Some 150,000 people living in Moldova’s second largest city, Balti, will benefit from more environmentally friendly and energy  efficient public transport with 10 new trolleybuses financed by the EBRD and the E5P multi donor fund, which supports projects in the EU’s Eastern Partnership.  

The EBRD is providing a €2.5 million loan to Balti Trolleybus Department, a municipal company. The Bank has also requested a €1.2 million grant from the E5P to complement the loan. The E5P facilitates investments in energy efficiency and environmental projects.

Active in Moldova and other Eastern Partnership countries, the E5P is funded by the European Union, as largest donor, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Sweden.

The new trolleybuses will run on electricity and opportunity charging battery technology which enables vehicles to be powered without overhead wires in remote areas.

The project will also help extend the existing trolleybus routes to serve densely populated areas and improve overall service efficiency. In addition, the loan will finance the rehabilitation of old power supply infrastructure and the acquisition of maintenance equipment.

The city will receive additional EBRD funds to support technical implementation of the project and the Bank will also provide support in developing a sustainable public transport plan.

The new EBRD and E5P funds follow a successful renewal of the Balti trolleybus fleet between 2012 and 2014.  The city bought 23 modern trolleybuses, spare parts, power supply infrastructure components and other equipment. The upgrades were financed with a €3 million loan from EBRD and €1.6 million investment grant from the European Commission’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility.

As part of the latest project, the EBRD will support the municipality of Balti to develop a Green City Action Plan to identify, prioritise and address environmental challenges, under the EBRD’s Green Cities. The initiative strives to build a better and more sustainable future for cities and their residents through sustainable infrastructure investments and policy measures.

Balti now becomes the 29th city to participate in the innovative €1 billion programme. Moldova’s capital Chisinau joined the programme in 2016.

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Moldova. To date the Bank has invested close to €1.3 billion in the country in almost 130 projects which focus on banking sector, sustainable infrastructure, commerce and agribusiness.

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